These past weeks have brought many calls for advice to our 5441 6200 WILVOS Hotline. It is encouraging that people ring if concerned about wildlife, or to ask for more information about certain species.
It was a special week knowing that the exquisite bush stone-curlew, Simone aka Gertie, has settled into her home territory. Curlews live for thirty years and mate for life. Though they inhabit all but the driest of habitats, their numbers are dwindling everywhere.
Being nocturnal, they either lie out or crouch on their haunches during the day, just flattening themselves out on the ground if perceiving danger. This makes them easy targets for cats and foxes. Locally on the Sunshine Coast you will hear of the large numbers of curlews that used to live in the area. In Victoria they are listed as Threatened and in New South Wales they are endangered. In Queensland because no consistent monitoring has been done over the years, the decline of numbers is largely ignored.
This follows the same trend as the sugar and squirrel gliders. As wildlife carers, we know numbers are declining rapidly and the reasons aren’t too difficult to deduce. I was reminded today of the lack of respect for our beautiful wildlife. I was talking to local school children about gliders. One young boy said their cat always brought dead gliders up to their door and liked eating their ‘guts’ – most probably the contents of the poor animal’s pouch first. I felt physically ill at the thought of it, but suggested to the lad that he talk to his parents about finding out more about gliders and containing their cat. He replied with, “Oh, they just hose them off the verandah.”
A number of people have spoken to me over the last week about the news program that they watched about koalas, and their impending extinction. Yes, koalas are incredibly cute animals, but they are the tip of the iceberg. There are many other species following in their footsteps on the way to extinction.
All wildlife need our respect and our help.
Donna Brennan Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS) PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast
Mail Centre Q 4560 PH 5441 6200 www.wilvos